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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  September 17, 2016 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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gwen: she calls him a loose cannon. he calls her disrespectful. in between, hillary clinton and donald trump talk the economy, childcare and each other's health. another dizzying week in politics tonight on "washington week." >> the next 53 days will shape the next 50 years. >> it's time to free ourselves from the baskets that politicians try to put us into and always have put us into. gwen: what a week. the birther debate was back. both candidates 170, 1 -- one 70, one 68 were forced to prove they're healthy and the president took to the trail. >> if you're serious about our democracy then you have to be with her. she's in the arena and you can't leave her in there by herself.
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you have to get in there with her. gwen: if you thought this election could not get any more unusual, you were wrong. >> just kind of a weird time, weird election. sort of sad in a sense, i guess. tragic but mostly just weird. gwen: but listen closely, past the talk of birtherism and who started what and you might just hear policy being debated. >> under our plan, the economy will average 3.5% growth and create a total of 25 million new jobs. >> fighting for kids and families. that's been the cause of my life. it will be the passion of my presidency. gwen: even as the head-to-head polls tighten. covering the week, john harwood, chief washington correspondent for consider nabs. alexis simendinger, white house
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correspondent for realclearpolitics. jim tankersley, economic policy correspondent for the "washington post." and jeff zeleny, senior washington correspondent for cnn. >> award-winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week with gwen ifill". funding for "washington week" is provided by -- thousands of people came out
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today to run the race for retirement so we asked them, are you completely prepared for retirement? ok, mostly prepared? would you -- could you save 1% more of your income? saving an additional 1% now could make a big difference over time the >> i'm going to be better about saving. >> you can do it. it helps in the long run. >> prudential. >> additional funding is provided by the x.q. institute. newman's own foundation, donating all profits to charity and nourishing the common good. the ford foundation. the ethics in excellence in journalism foundation. the ewen foundation, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities.
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the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> once again, live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. if you were thinking that this campaign is playing out like a reality show, let me make a different suggestion -- a game show -- truth or consequences, you remember that one? right now it's become almost cliche to say that both donald trump and hillary clinton are challenged when it comes to transparency. by this time last week clinton had been diagnosed of pneumonia but we didn't hear about it until after almost 48 hours. today she tried to make the best of it. >> as the world knows, i was a little under the weather recently. the good news is, my pneumonia finally got some republicans interested in women's health.
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gwen: as for donald trump, we knew even less about his finances. now his doctor says he is refusings he still to release his taxes. now he admits that the president was indeed born in the u.s. this was then. >> he gave a birth certificate. now we have to find out whether or not it was real. show his birth certificate. >> why does he have to? >> because i have to and everyone else have to. i want him to show his birth certificate. there is something there he doesn't like. if he wasn't born in this country then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics. gwen: this was today. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it. i finished it.
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you know what i mean. president barack obama was born in the united states, period. gwen: so tonight we don't necessarily want to focus only on which candidate is more transparent. we want to talk about those truftse and consequences. john, is that a reasonable measure? john: yes, and the birther controversy was untrue from the get-go. gwen: perfect example? john: it's a perfect example. it was never in serious doubt by serious people who looked at the facts that president obama was born in hawaii. donald trump spread that nevertheless. he built a national political profile on it. he said something that wasn't true today in ending, trying to put a punctuation mark on it today because he said hillary clinton started the birther controversy. that is not true. there were some allusions to
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upbringing and whether or not he had roots as deep as hillary clinton. hillary clinton herself never did any of this. gwen: and he didn't end it either. he kept it going. >> if he would have ended it, i would have thought he would have taken credit for that at the time. he only talks about it day because it's so close before the election and it's suddenly politically not rise wise for him. if you fact check that one sentence today, he had a couple of falses, as john said. she didn't start it but he didn't end it. the president finally before the election put out his long-form birth certificate but donald trump as recently as a few months ago started talking about it again and as recently as this week to the "washington post"
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was not answering the question, which is why it was being discussed today. just when republicans think he's on the verge of normalizing, this happens. gwen: and it gives hillary clinton to raise the bar higher than he will go, which is to say he should apologize to the president. when is not in miss nature. let's talk about what he did maybe an hour ago tonight, friday night in washington. he wasn't in washington but he was making an observation he makes a lot about gun control. you take away the guns, only the criminals will have the guns. this is the way he put it. >> i think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. they should disarm. i think they should disarm, immediately. think, yes? think, yes? yes. yeah. take their guns away. she doesn't want guns. take them, let's see what happens to them. gwen: there are a couple of
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things there. one is that she doesn't say take their guns away and the other is that last line, see what happens to her, which sounds like an assassination threat. alexis: one of the fascinating things is this an effort to watch donald trump meander back to the old donald trump? an effort to move away from the fire he started earlier today with the comments about the birther? an effort to put the onus on hillary clinton and the second amendment with the base of his supporters? with donald trump you could ask a million questions about this. he might have an explanation of this tomorrow in a different way but it was clearly interpreting violence towards her. >> i have an idea for why he might have done it. donald trump, when he's interacting with a crowd likes to do and say things to engender a reaction that makes him feel
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good. i don't think it particularly made him feel good to stand up and said barack obama was born in the united states. after he said it was -- it to robert costa the night before, i think the political people on his team told him he had to do this. so he did this it didn't feel good and i think when he got in front of that crowd, he was getting feedback that he liked and he let it rip. just when he said a few weeks ago maybe the second amendment people can do something about hillary. gwen: other weaknesses which is the consistent questions about his taxes and whether he will ever, ever reveal what he earned, what he spent, what he gave in charity and what he's paid in taxes to the federal government. >> trump's had so many controversy in this campaign, we've forgotten some of them and
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this is one of them. in the any other campaign, a candidate would be hounded by the media constantly. he and his statue have been giving shifting reasons why he won't release his taxes. he's under audit, he says. maybe there's something in there but the question is what is it? and if every other candidate in modern history has released at least some summaries of their taxes, it is worth asking this question. there are big questions about his charitable giving and he could clear that up with some top-line things from his taxes without showing details. again, it looks like he's not going to release them. gwen: what is the truth and what are the consequences about health scares? for instance, we might not know whether hillary clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia last friday if we hadn't seen the
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video of her near clams. the truth and the consequence is that people will wonder whether she's fully healthy? >> that's right and we wouldn't have known about that had someone with some type of iphone not shot that video. she has now act nonned that that was a mistake. her campaign aides have said that they should have acted swifter on that sunday. but the reality is by trying to walk the line of not feeding into the conspiracy theories that rudy giuliani and others have raised about her health, they ended up feeding into the conspiracy theory about her netz a big way. i was with her when she was back on the road on thursday and her aides were sort of on pins and needles hoping she didn't have a coughing spell. of course that would have been magnified a lot. the reality here is i think she
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ended up releasing more health information. we learned a few things but not everything. donald trump released a bit of his medical information but on dr. oz. who would have thought of that? and he's still in a transparency war with her, far behind on medical and certainly on taxes. gwen: with health week this week, birther week and who knows what next week. let's talk about the consequences. polls show this race is really, really tightening. look at the realclearpolitics average of polls taken by the "los angeles times" and u.s.c., fox news and cbs times. hillary clinton is still ahead but by less than two percentage points. what's driving these numbers? alexis: we're noticing that secretary clinton, if you're talking about why she's dropped and we can see donald trump as risen in the realclearpolitics
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polls by about three point. secretary clinton has a vulnerability with young people on trust. we know she's trying to shore up some of the as a rule nerbles she's got and trying to rebuild the obama coalition. you could see her privet this -- fifth week very much to appeal to african-american voters and women. we saw michelle obama trying to gin up support among my len yulls and we know that secretary clinton is really going to hit that demographic hard next week, the millennials. this is one of the reasons why jeff is seeing the campaign's misery of seeing her having to go off the trail for three days because they're concerned on after labor day instead of losing on bulwark she'd built, she was losing ground. gwen: how do we know that any of the things they say, which are based in policy, actually
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truths, what they would do as president, how do we know that any of that is sticking this year? >> i don't know that we do. i think there are certainly broad brush things that are sticking. trump voters know he wants to build a wall with mexico and they like that gwen: that mexico will pay for it. they always say. >> if you look at our most recent polls, even trump voters are skeptical that mexico is going to pay for it but they like the idea that they might. and trade policies, he hits them over and over again. very consistent on. that i hear that a lott with trump voters. they like the idea of trying to make other countries play by the rules or beat them in trailed. with hillary clinton, she has a million policy ideas. she's not had an incredibly focused message on it and i think one of the things she's going to look to do is make that proactive policy case, especially to young people to say ok, this is what is going to
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happen if i'm president and this is why you should afrirm -- affirmatively choose me and not just negatively against trump. >> donald trump, in the last few weeks, until the last couple of days had been communicating in a more polished, more under control way that tamped down some of the controversy that followed him, plagued him that he initiated himself after the two convention that is drove down his numbers, especially among college-educated white voters who were going to hillary clinton in numbers they had not done to democratic candidates for a long time. those numbers have evened out a little bit. hillary clinton came down and donald trump is bringing some republicans home. we're 10 days out from the first debate. how is that big moment going to be processed by voters,
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including some who are a little bit in the middle of the spectrum? gwen: doesn't it resonate at all with voters when donald trump comes out and gives a big policy speech, aassuming he doesn't step on it with three other things. does it resonate if it doesn't add up. for instance, i'm going to cut your taxes and rebuild every bridge in america. >> not among his supporters. it seems whenever donald trump talks about policy, which hasn't been a ton. this hasn't been a policy-free election but the other side hasn't offered a lot of policy things. even though when he does it makes him look for presidential. i don't think they care for. that like the walt, they like the idea, they don't think it's going to happen but it makes him look strong. the clinton campaign has been worried in the last 10 days or so when i've talked to a lot of the advisors who reluctantly it
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in that they worry that he's becoming more acceptable to some voters. that's always been their worry. they want to make him unacceptable and unfit. but when he does things like this today and they're able to revive the birther stuff, they're hoping that it reverses. that we don't know. we'll have to see the polling a week from now. gwen: which is what happened with the demrorblese. the debate that happened. deplorables. the debate that happened. she quadrupled down on that because she liked the idea of people knowing who he's associated with. >> how much does policy influence the vote? i think not much in election. i think this is a highly pergesed choice that has
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polarized the country. polarized the country. many, many people don't care for hillary clinton on the republican side and hillary clinton -- the broadest possible argument she can make is that this guy does not belong in the white house and that is a gut-level decision on a person, not about his tax plan. alexis: one thing is interesting is how policy is being used by the two candidates. donald trump is using policy to say look, i can look more presidential, even though his campaign is very personality driven. secretary clinton is using to it argue i have an optimistic vision, experience and you should trust me. those are things she feels vulnerable on and she's trying to use the policy display to shore up support for herself. gwen: here's one thing that should have helped this week and that's that the department of sense us came out with numbers which shows the poor are actually doing a little better and the rich are doing a little better. everybody gains, which ask highly unusual and rare.
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hocked that in some way help? >> we had the best year according to the reports in the middle. 5% in the middle and even better for people below. that this bolsters secretary clinton's case that hey, things have been getting better under president obama. maybe not as fast as we'd like. they think this helps their narrative. donald trump has been painting a more disopen thian view of the american economy. he just moved to another talking point. gwen: here is what the president said about it this week because if it helps him, theoretically it helps her. >> more americans are working, more have health insurance. incomes are rising, poverty is alling and gas is $2 a gallon. [cheers] i didn't even -- thank you for
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reminding me. thanks, obama. gwen: thanks, obama. so the president's popularity has gone up. he was at 58% last week. >> this is the appointment. the income gains reflected in that sense us report, long before the report came out, were being reflected in president bama's rating. alexis: one of the other things we've noticed and many of us have sat through focus groups with voters, some of who say they're undecided. the moderators ask them how are you doing in states like arizona and wisconsin. they say we're doing ok, actually. gwen: they're saying i'm doing ok but they still feel that the whole country isn't do doing ok and that resonates for donald trump. >> for his core supporters,
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there's a huge difference. we had a poll come out this week on this it's double trump supporters who say they're getting worse than their parents for a standard of living. it's totally reversed for those who think that america is not great anymore versus the clinton supportors who think it is. gwen: your colleague called it a fun house story. >> the campaign is hillary clinton's challenges, and now she's talking more about children and family. she is trying to sort of get back to the very beginning and she is doing more proactive positive policy things. when i was with her in north carolina on thursday, she didn't mention donald trump's name one time. a bit unusual, but she has since then. she needs to get her positives up. donald trump has cornered the market on angst and anger and
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restlessness out there and that's something that she's trying to get back. but the numbers indicate in the polls all she has to do is build that obama coalition. and i think donald trump at the end of the week helped her do that more than anything she's done herself. gwen: we're waiting for the detectives. we heard today only two people on that stage for sure because neither jill stein, the green party candidate, nor larry johnson, the libertarian candidate will be in these debates. it's going to be head to head. is everything we're seeing now just building up to that? laying the groundwork? >> it is but i do think the fact they're not growing to be on that stage is significant because their numbers are relatively high. the history of third-party candidates is they go down closer to the election. the fact that they're not on the stage i think contributes to that decline. it is true that this is a year where there's more
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dissatisfaction with more nominees so maybe it doesn't follow the historical pattern but it's also possibly that those numbers shrink and johnson especially is taking young voters disproportionally from clinton. if they go down and he goes down, that will help her. >> that is job one of the weekend to get those young voters. elizabeth warren was out there. michelle obama. gwen: thank you, everyone. we have to leave you for now but the k continues on line on washington "washington week" k3r56789 where we'll talk programs a little bit about vladimir putin and about michelle obama. while there, check out video with colorado students next week about the differential between objectivity and fairness. keep up with developments with us over on the pbs news hour and
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we'll see you next week here on "washington week." ood night. >> funding for "washington week" is provided by -- ♪ >> thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement. we asked them, are you completely prepared for retirement? ok, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much but saving an additional 1% now could make a big difference over time. >> i'm going to be better about saving. >> you can do it. it helps in the long run. >> prudential. >> xq institute.
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>> additional funding is provided by boeing. newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the either i think so and excellence in journalism foundation. the ford foundation. ku and patricia ewen to the ewen foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. reliable,
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>> pafr hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. coming up on the program, an indepth look at humboldt county's efforts to regulate the cannibis industry and why rules could serve as a model for the counties. the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults. first political activism in sports. colin kaepernick took a stand choosing not to stand for the national anthem before a game. prot test against police brutality sparked widespread criticism with many plasting him as

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